[News] Zola Unveiled as West Ham Boss

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West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola insisted his lack of managerial experience would not hamper him in his new job when he was unveiled at Upton Park on Thursday.

The Italian, who has signed a three-year deal with the club, has not managed a club side before.

"I know I am not the most experienced manager, but I have ideas and have been involved in football for 20 years," the 42-year-old said.

"It's a great opportunity and I am sure I can do a great job for this club."

There have been reports that Zola wants Chelsea assistant Steve Clarke, who coached him at Stamford Bridge, to be his number two at Upton Park.

He did not confirm this, but said that Antonio Pintus would be coming in as a fitness coach, while caretaker manager Kevin Keen would remain part of the club's coaching staff.

Pintus also used to work at Chelsea, as well as at Monaco and Juventus.

Zola played for Chelsea from 1996 to 2003 and has been voted the club's greatest-ever player by their fans.

The two clubs have an intense rivalry, yet Zola insisted this would not be a problem.

He said: "I had seven wonderful years with Chelsea and it's something I will never forget. But here I have the opportunity of another experience, as a manager.

"I hope it will be as good as those seven years were. What is important is the present and this club that has faith in me.

"I am totally focused on what I am doing here with West Ham. The club has got tradition and I am just here to help develop the team and to develop the players.

"That is my duty and I will do it with all of myself. I will give to these players all of my experience and all of my knowledge - I am here to be somebody good for them."

Zola, who is West Ham's fifth manager in seven years and their first foreign boss, was an instinctive and lavishly gifted forward.

He promised to also have an attacking philosophy now he is a manager.

"My philosophy is to play offensive football if I can," he said. "I have always done that, because I trust it.

"We have to make it enjoyable for the players first and then for the crowd and everybody.

"Obviously we will have to be a balanced team, but the philosophy will be to play offensive football."


Good Luck to him, I really hope he can work with the board!

Edited by Rappy
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Steve Clarke Quits Chelsea

Steve Clarke has resigned as Chelsea's assistant head coach in order to join the Italian revolution at Upton Park.

According to the Times, Clarke - who was a member of staff at Stamford Bridge for over 20 years - has handed in his notice with view to joining former team mate Gianfranco Zola, who was confirmed as the Hammers' 12th full time manager earlier today, at West Ham.

The deal, if confirmed, would represent a major coup for the Hammers, for Clarke was a well-respected member of Chelsea's coaching staff popular with players and supporters alike.

The former Scottish international was a close confidante of former Blues manager Jose Mourinho although he found himself marginalised first by Avram Grant and then, more recently, by Phil Scolari.

Chelsea, according to the story pulled out all the stops in an attempt to keep Clarke at Stamford Bridge but he was apparently determined to leave in order to join up with Zola, a player whom he featured alongside for two seasons in the late 1990s.

Clarke, if confirmed, will become the second signing made by new manager Zola following confirmation of the arrival of fitness coach Antonios Pintos.

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I thought Chelsea have rejected it!

Just shows how much they rely on Clake in some ways.

They have rejected his resignation but we are expected to pay around ?1.5m to secure him.

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Chelsea assistant coach Steve Clarke has joined West Ham as their new first team coach after the clubs reached a financial settlement.

The 45-year-old joins the Hammers on a three-year deal, joining up with new manager Gianfranco Zola, after handing in his resignation last Thursday.

Chelsea sought ?5m compensation for the Scot, with West Ham offering ?1m, but a compromise has now been agreed.

Clarke spent 20 seasons in total both as a player or on the staff at Chelsea.

He had two years left of his current deal at Stamford Bridge after signing a new contract in the wake of Jose Mourinho's departure as manager in September 2007.

West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "We are very pleased to welcome Steve Clarke to the club.

"Steve is rightly regarded as one of the top coaches in Europe and his experience and knowledge will be a huge asset to us.

"He recognises what we are trying to achieve at West Ham United and wants to be a part of that.

"We have worked very hard to bring him on board and are confident we now have the perfect coaching team."

Glad to have him on boar(Y)Y)

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